AUSTRALIA exported 197,183 tonnes of barley in September, down 19 per cent from 244,842t shipped in August, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The biggest-volume customer for Australian barley in September was Japan on 86,849t, followed by Thailand on 35,628t and China on 33,878t.
Vietnam and China were the only destinations for bulk malting cargoes exported in September, while Japan and Thailand were the volume buyers on food and feed barley respectively.
Big month for sorghum
China, on 23,560t, was the biggest buyer of the 48,403t of Australian sorghum shipped in September, up 85pc from the August total.
Kenya has made a surprise appearance as a bulk sorghum destination via a food-aid cargo which shipped from Central Queensland’s Gladstone Port.
September sorghum exports reflect the late and small Queensland sorghum crop which made September the feature month for bulk exports.
This compares with normal years when Queensland can be expected to be a volume exporter of sorghum from roughly May to August.
Stocks reporting ceases
Public reporting of stocks will cease this month as drought turns to surplus as Australia’s eastern states swing into a hectic export program not seen since 2016-17.
When drought pushed New South Wales and Queensland into grain deficit by late 2017, they became heavily reliant on wheat and barley supplies from South Australia and Western Australia, typically Australia’s two biggest cereal exporters.
As eastern Australian consumers sought assurance about domestic grain supplies, the dominant bulk handlers in both states – Viterra in SA and CBH Group in WA – started issuing public stock-on-hand reports earlier this year.
On barley in particular, it allowed consumers to manage their changeover from interstate to local feedgrain.
In a statement provided to Grain Central, Viterra said it would this month cease publishing the report on its website because Australia was no longer experiencing the same drought conditions as gripped the market earlier.
“Viterra released its stock-on-hand report on the Viterra website from March this year to help buyer and end-use customers manage their ongoing supply requirements during two consecutive years of drought conditions and potential pressure on supply chains.
“The report will continue to be published each month in Ezigrain and available to our grower, domestic and export customers who have stock in the Viterra system.”
CBH Group has confirmed it has also now ceased public stock reporting.
Table 1: Australian malting barley exports in July, August and September 2020. Source: ABS
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Table 2: Australian feed barley exports in July, August and September 2020. Source: ABS
Table 3: Australian sorghum exports in July, August and September 2020. Source: ABS
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